Marwadi University, one of the leading private universities based in Gujarat, abiding to its socially responsible guiding philosophies, announced distribution of more than 1,000 face shields and 10,000 3 – ply masks to frontline police officers and municipal officials of the Rajkot City Municipal Corporation. Face Shields are considered as essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), currently in acute shortage across India, which requires over a lakh kits per day, including N-95 masks, head covers and glasses. Additionally, employees and trustees of Marwadi University have contributed INR 30 lakhs to the Chief Minister Relief Fund.
The kits were designed and prototyped by Matteo Biella, a well-known artist and architect, visiting Marwadi University from Italy, Anushkha Advani Founder, Paperheads, along with Rhea Shanghvi, Paperheads. Although Matteo’s 3-month residency programme was slated to conclude in the 2nd week of March, he was forced to extend his stay due to imposed travel restrictions, necessary to curtail spread of prevailing global pandemic. University and local officials commended Marwadi University on the initiative. The university’s engineering department oversaw and assisted in the manufacturing and distribution of the completed kits to local authorities.
Speaking on the development, Matteo Biella, said, “The current COVID crisis has had a very negative impact on a global scale, especially in my home country of Italy. We all may feel helpless and anxious during these testing times, however, by supporting one another and rerouting these negative emotions to focus on positive change, it is amazing to see the resilience and innovation of the human spirit.”
More than 900 international and residential students are still currently residing in the university campus hostels, unable to return home due to ensuing lockdown and travel restrictions. Marwadi University engineering department, keeping in mind safety and security of its residential students, has also taken a host of steps, including development of an in house contactless soap dispensers, facial recognition technology for entry and exits, regular disinfection, minimizing cash transactions, amongst other steps to develop a truly contactless environment.
Commenting on the development, Jeet Marwadi, Director, at Marwadi University, said, “Matteo showed great courage and resolve to utilize his time effectively and give back to the community. He dedicated a lot of time and effort while overcoming his own personal issues, to oversee the design and prototyping of the face shields. I would like to personally thank all the Marwadi University students and staff, who despite being severely restricted by the strict norms of social distancing and ensuing lockdown, were able to execute this meaningful contribution to the local authorities. I share my heartfelt sympathy to all the students who are currently unable to reunite with their family and loved ones during the ensuing lockdown.”